Category: Home Economics

Teach Your Children To Cook: Melt In Your Mouth Pumpkin Cookies

Teach Children To Cook Pumpkin CookiesThere are SO MANY amazing recipes available on the web today, but how many help and encourage you to make meals and memories with your children?

I mean, what are the holidays for? Are they not to make spend time with your family? To create Traditions? To pass down your favorite crafts, recipes, techniques, stories and more to your children?

This year we decided to try a few traditional holiday recipes from Better Homes and Gardens, modify them to suit our family, and teach the girls how to make them.

This recipe from BHG, the Melt In Your Mouth Pumpkin Cookies, was so easy for the girls to make. Your children will enjoy making and eating them!

We added cream cheese frosting, halved the recipe, increased the pumpkin, and used whole wheat flour (but you don’t have to). The BHG site includes a video if you want some extra help.

Teach Children To Cook Pumpkin Cookies

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

Equipment Used

I teach the children to gather all of the needed equipment at the beginning of making a recipe. For this cookie recipe, we used:

Ingredients

I like to make recipes flexible. I comment here and there with a few modifications and suggestions.

Cookies: 

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 2 1/4 to 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, soften butter (in the microwave for 30 seconds for ease, or have left the butter out overnight).
  3. Add organic cane sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, cloves and ginger. We also added 1/2 tsp of cardamom for a unique taste, but you can leave it out if you don’t have that on hand.
  4. Stir until combined, scraping bowl occasionally.
  5. Add egg and vanilla; stir until combined.
  6. Stir in pumpkin.
  7. Stir in flour.
  8. Drop dough by heaping teaspoons, 2 inches apart on lined cookie sheets.
  9. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes.
  10. For the frosting, soften butter and the cream cheese (again, in the microwave for 30 seconds or have the butter left out overnight. Cream cheese is usually soft enough to mix w/o softening).
  11. Stir in vanilla and pumpkin.
  12. Stir in powdered sugar, about 1/2 cup at a time. Keep adding sugar until the frosting is thick, not runny.
  13. Wait until cookies are cooled before frosting. Use about one heaping teaspoon of frosting per cookie.

I would love to hear about your favorite cookie recipes to make with your children!

Want to start with the basics and teach your children to cook? Check out: Teach Your Children To Cook – The Simple, Healthy, Cheap Way: For Ages 7+ With Parent Supervision and follow the 16 incremental lessons to give your children a good cooking foundation and give them a beginning repertoire of recipes that they can use to contribute to the family meals.

Better Homes and Gardens is one of my favorite magazines. Click here to subscribe to Better Homes and Gardens.

 

Teaching Your Children To Cook: How To Get Kids To Eat Their Veggies – Raw Veggie Pizza Recipe

Raw Veggie Pizza Recipe
Is it hard for you to get your children to eat their veggies?

Is there a bigger dilemma with kids and eating than how to get them to actually eat enough veggies in a day or at least in a week?

Our family’s philosophy of eating is: Healthy, Simple and Cheap! I have stumbled upon a family favorite recipe that falls under this philosophy, and for at least one day will fulfill you and your children’s daily veggie requirement. The secret is that the children make these themselves, which seems to lend itself to an eagerness to eat it.

Raw Veggie Pizza Recipe

Ingredients: 

– Hummus (pre-made or make your own)

– Whole wheat flat bread or pita bread (again, pre-made or make your own)

– A selection of favorite raw veggies (organic if you can)

Bags of Raw Veggies
Lots of veggies to choose from!

Steps:

  1. Have children spread two tablespoons of hummus over their piece of flat bread, going out almost to the edge. This is the “sauce” on your “pizza crust.” Demonstrate to the with your pizza as needed.
  2. Let the children select their favorite veggies (but more than one kind) and decorate the pizza as they like.
  3. Eat. Parent can cut the pizza in fourths if needed.

It is that simple and now you have happy children happily eating their creation!

Want to learn more about cooking healthy with your children? Check out my ebook: Teach Your Children To Cook – The Simple, Healthy, Cheap Way: For Ages 7+ With Parent Supervision

Disclosure: some links in this post are affiliate links.

How I Get My Children To Start Cooking With Me: Train Them While They Are Young

Your children want to cook with you!

Yes, that is one of my own children, by age 4, in the kitchen with me helping me cook. Before you think it is a crime that I have a four year old near a burner, let me assure you that mom is, except for this quick photo snap, right there next to her, literally holding her hand as we stir and boil.

So, how do I get them so comfortable in the kitchen, so young? Well, by the time they are two, they are usually curious about what mom is doing in the kitchen, so I let them start watching on a stool or chair, and teach them some basic kitchen rules:

1) They must not touch anything!

2) Mom points to hazards and says: sharp! or hot!

3) If they don’t obey, they have to leave. If they obey, they might get a taste test, especially if we are making baked goods:-)

Once the children have demonstrated obedience, I usually give them the chance to help stir foods not on a stove / not hot. I hold their hand at first, until I see their confidence, then give them a chance to try it own their own. I always remind them to hold the bowl / container they are stirring with one hand while stirring with the other.

By the time they are 3 or so, I find they are ready and wanting to put in ingredients and may also be curious about watching mom at the stove. As for the ingredients, I usually help them pour / scoop until I see their confidence, then let them try on their own. One of my weaknesses is tolerating spills. I am still working on that so I don’t discourage them.

As for having them at the stove, the rules are clear:

1) No touch anything! Unless I let them stir with me (both of us holding the spoon / spatula).

2) If I have to walk away from the stove for any reason, the little one has to leave the stove with me. I never leave them there w/o me until I feel they are an age that is safe (about 7 or 8).

I have had a few phases where I haven’t felt “up to” having them in the kitchen with me. They will stop trying to help after a while and lose interest in the process, so I have to remember to come and ask for their help again and get them interested again (cookies almost always work).

If you have been wanting to get your children in your kitchen with you, but still feel a little daunted or unsure after reading these tips, contact me or order my eBook – Teach Your Children To Cook – The Simple, Healthy, Cheap Way!  The book starts off with some rules and tips, then has a lesson on pouring, measuring and stirring. Finally, it contains 14 recipes, starting very simple and gradually growing in complexity to do in the kitchen with your children.

eBook_Teach_Children_To_Cook

 

Sign up for Ebates and search for coupons from your favorite retailers for $20 – $1000 off of products and 12% cash back on all purchases.

Disclosure: Some links in this post may be affiliate links.

Super Simple Menu Plan: One Week Of Meals For Less Than $100

Menu

Our goal for a family food budget is $450 per month. This means that we have $100 or less to shop on each week (since there is 4 ½ weeks to almost every month). We eat fresh, healthy, whole, homemade food, which means very few coupons are useful to us. So how do we do this?

The following is our menu for a week, which I plan Thursday to Wednesday, since Thursday is my usual shopping day:

Thursday –

Breakfast: homemade whole grain waffles with maple flavored agave syrup.

Snack: ½ orange

Lunch: tuna-fish sandwiches on homemade bread (with pickles)

Dinner: Black beans with shredded cheese and tortilla chips

Friday –

Breakfast: ½ banana, oatmeal with non-dairy milk and honey

Snack: store-bought cheesy crackers (with whole grains and real cheese)

Lunch: tuna-fish sandwiches on homemade bread (with pickles)

Dinner: top-sirloin steak, mashed potatoes and carrots, homemade bread, ice cream

Saturday –

Breakfast: grape juice, ½ banana, cold cereal (whole grain, low sugar), non-dairy milk

Snack: store-bought ginger snap cookies (natural, no artificial ingredients)

Lunch: top-sirloin steak, mashed potatoes and carrots, homemade bread

Dinner: mixed veggies and pirogies

Sunday –

Breakfast: oatmeal with berry mix, honey, non-dairy milk

Snack: ½ orange, ¼ protein bar

Lunch: mixed veggies and pirogies

Dinner: Black beans with shredded cheese, tortilla chips, salsa, Panda black licorice

Monday –

Breakfast: grape juice, ½ banana, cornmeal mush with honey and non-dairy milk

Snack: cheesy crackers and peanut butter (no salt or sugar added)

Lunch: veggie salad and tortilla chips

Dinner: whole grain pasta, marinara sauce with ground turkey sausage

Tuesday –

Breakfast: oatmeal with honey and non-dairy milk

Snack: ¼ orange, whole wheat crackers

Lunch: homemade artisan bread with olive oil and balsamic vinegar dip, mixed veggies

Dinner: whole grain pasta, marinara sauce with ground turkey sausage

Wednesday –

Breakfast: cornmeal mush with honey and non-dairy milk

Snack:  gingersnap cookies and ice cream

Lunch: homemade artisan bread with olive oil and balsamic vinegar dip, mixed veggies

Dinner: veggie stir-fry with rice noodles

If you would like to see any of the recipes, please post a request. I would love to hear your healthy, simple menus – post a link if you have one!

Blessings and healthy eating.

 
YWAM

Three Injera Recipes

Image

Based on my $25 weekly menu, I have had some requests for some of the recipes.

Here is a link to a traditional, Ethiopian Injera Recipe using teff flour:

http://www.exploratorium.edu/cooking/bread/recipe-injera.html

If you forget to start your Injera one or more days before you want to cook and eat it, you can use this quick version. This is one I have used a few times and it is good, although I wouldn’t call it traditional or as healthy:

http://www.aspicyperspective.com/2012/03/ethiopian-recipes-injera-doro-wat.html

The following is my “Americanized” version of Injera. I still ferment it for a day:

Americanized Injera Recipe with variations

Ingredients:

2 cups whole wheat flour

2 cups rice flour

4 cups water

2 tsp salt

oil for cooking (grape-seed, coconut, olive)

Instructions:

  1. Mix the whole wheat flour, the rice flour and the water in a non-metal bowl. It should be thin like crepe batter.

  2. Let stand in bowl for 1 day (24 hours or close) with a cover over the bowl.

  3. Add and stir in the 2 tsp salt before cooking.

  4. Add a small amount of oil to a fry pan or wok on medium heat (just to coat the bottom).

  5. Pour in enough Injera batter to cover the bottom of the pan.

  6. Cook for a couple of minutes. Flip and cook for another minute or two.

  7. Remove from pan.

  8. Serve while warm or keep warm in oven until all are finished.

Variations:

Other flours that can be used besides rice flour: buckwheat, millet, lentil, garbanzo.

Holiday flair: Add two cups mashed pumpkin or squash right before cooking.

Spices: Try cardamom, gram masala, or cumin, depending on what you serve it with.

We have enjoyed this bread with lentil curry stew and chutney and just by itself.

Let me know if you have any favorite variations of it!

 

Cleansing, Iron Increasing Beet Soup Recipe

English: A bundle of organic beets from a loca...

I was recently asked for my beet soup recipe.

This recipe was given to me by my (step) mom and we enjoy this soup whenever we just want to feel lighter and cleansed or when I need a boost in iron. My children really like this soup too!

Ingredients:

2 – 3 medium beets, keep some of the beet greens if you have them

2 TBL butter or good oil (coconut, olive, grape-seed)

½ tsp salt

1 – 2 tsp Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb seasoning or similar

4 – 6 cups water

Optional: substitute vegetable broth or chicken broth for some of the water

Instructions:

1 – Wash and dice beets into small chunks or julienne if you want to be fancy. Chop up a couple tablespoons of greens.

2 – Melt butter or heat up oil on medium heat in a medium size pot.

3 – Carefully put beets (but not greens yet) in pot and sauté 8 to 10 minutes.

4 – Add seasonings (salt and Mrs. Dash).

5 – Add water and optional broth.

6 – Cook for 10 – 15 minutes. Add greens for the last 5 minutes.

 

I have a similar recipe in my Simple, Healthy, Cheap! A Simple Life’s Guide to Home Economics: Beginning Cooking eBook, but uses Asian seasonings and adds rice noodles to make a more complete meal. 

My Testimony Part 2: How I Graduated High School With Almost No Practical Skills

2013_Spring 133 I was raised in the suburbanite, public school system. I was encouraged to excel at academics, participate in extra-curricular activities, maybe get a part-time job when I was older, and spend the rest of my time playing, which became partying when I got older.

In my earlier years, I was not encouraged, nor taught how to: cook, clean a house, manage and wash laundry, grocery shop, budget, plan, and other homemaking skills. I eventually learned a few things by watching my parents. I do remember going to the store with my mom and watching dad cook on occasion, but other than that, I have little memory of any education in this area. Oh, there was a Home Economics class in 7th grade. I got a C, one of my worst grades. When I was a teen and my parents did make some attempts at showing me some household economics. I rejected it and them.

When I graduated from High School and was on my own, I really didn’t know how to take care of myself. I had mastered french toast, and could make mac and cheese and hamburger helper, but that was about it. I learned how to run the washer and dryer, but many items of clothing went into wrong cycles or didn’t get pre-treated for stains. I honestly though that I would eventually pay for the things I purchased on credit, and thought nothing of the constant piles of clothing, garbage and junk that laid around the house.

A few years later, I was married to someone without any better skills than I. We were seriously in debt, we were fat and unhealthy from the constant stream of processed, frozen and fast foods that we ate. The house was dirty and unhealthy and we did not know how to fix it up, and we lacked any motivation to keep it really clean.

When God got through to us, we were in bad shape. There was much to be convicted of and to redeem! But, God is capable, and so started the long haul to showing us how to have a better life. Shortly after we gave our lives to Jesus, we were convicted to stop preventing pregnancy and have children. However, I knew NOTHING about being a mother.

God knew what I needed and what I could handle. He provided people, books, the internet and the library as sources to teach me everything from “What To Expect When You Are Expecting” to how to cook, how to manage laundry, how to use the attachments of a vacuum cleaner (people really go around the edge of their house with that edger attachment???), and so much more.

It has been 7 years since I had my first child. I now have a weekly menu plan and shopping list, I know how much laundry I can get done in a week, I know how long before the toilets need to be cleaned, I know how to stay within a budget, and I can cook some really great food from scratch, including grinding my own wheat and making my own bread.

I praise God for what He has done, a great work in an entitled, lazy, disconnected woman.

May you find something in here to encourage you today.